How to Warp Looms for Beginners

By Michelle Powell-Smith ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Loom
  • Weaving threads

Weaving is a traditional craft that is experiencing a comeback. Simple looms are quite accessible; however, learning to use your loom can be a bit challenging. One key to successful weaving is a well-warped loom. Warping a loom, or setting the vertical threads into position prior to weaving, is critical for even tension and smooth weaving. Take that loom out of storage and get started.

Choose the warp thread for your weaving project. Decide how many threads you would like per inch in your weaving or the sett of your cloth before you warp the loom. Wrap the yarn around a standard ruler and count the number of wraps per inch to determine the ideal sett for a given thread.

Do the math. Determine how long your finished weaving will be, including length for hems. Add 10 to 15 percent to this amount for shrinkage and 27 to 36 inches per warp thread for tying on and for loom waste. Figure the width, plus 10 to 15 percent for shrinkage and take up. Multiply the number of threads per inch times the total width in inches to figure out how many warp threads or warp ends you will require.

Wrap your threads around clamps, chairs or a warping board, crossing the thread or yarn once on each round to keep the yarns in the order you wrapped them. Continue wrapping until you have the correct number of warp ends. Tie threads off in small groups to make it easier to keep count.

Place the warp threads onto the lease sticks of your loom. Center the cross of your warp threads on your loom, marking 1/2 the width of your project to each side of the center point of the loom.

Use a threading hook to place the warp threads onto the reed of your loom, then catch around the rod or lease sticks on the loom. Continue working thread by thread until all threads are in place.

Use small weights, cans or soda cans to create the tension on groups of warp threads. Shift and adjust threads until the tension is even, then tie onto the apron rod of the back loom beam.

Tip

Every weaver has an individual warping method, and various methods work well. Experiment to find the one right for you.

Check your loom's manual for specific tips.

About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.